Judy Puskar heard one of the cars coming up Warren Sharon Road, the impact of it hitting another car and then when the cars flipped over, one on its side and the other on its roof. As she called 911, one of the cars burst into flames.
That crash July 16 in front of Puskar’s home claimed the lives of both drivers, Thomas B. Hutchinson Jr., 26, and Rajshun D. Mayberry, 29, both of Masury.
Puskar asked Brookfield Township officials to reach out to Trumbull County officials – Warren Sharon Road is owned by the county – to see if improvements can be made to that stretch of road. The trustees have discussed the road at three separate meetings, while the Safe Communities Committee is awaiting the final report from Ohio Highway Patrol before reviewing the circumstances at one of their upcoming meetings, said Gary Shaffer, Trumbull County deputy engineer.
“I think the biggest problem on any day is speed,” Puskar told the trustees Aug. 7. “They come up the hill so fast. I go out there, I’m mowing grass, I’m weed whacking, I go to my mailbox and I have to be so cautious. I jump onto the curb. Definitely, time of day depends on that, too.”
“That road is very narrow,” she added, and the utility poles alongside the road make it “seem narrower.”
“Most people coming up the hill, if they’re going at a high rate of speed, they all go left of center,” Puskar said.
She also complained of the fading line painting, and the dim streetlights.
Although there has not been a significant crash history on that stretch of road, “Those poles have been hit a few times, I do know that,” said township Road Supt. Jaime Fredenburg.
The trustees also said they would like to ask about rumble strips, lighted warning signs, moving the utility poles and improving the lighting.
The Safe Communities Committee, which has representatives of the engineer’s office, Trumbull County Emergency Management Agency, Ohio Highway Patrol, Ohio Department of Transportation and local safety forces on it,, reviews all fatal accidents, Shaffer said.
The committee tries to determine what factors led to the accident, such as an engineering deficiency, road condition or driver error, and what can be done to improve the road if driver error is not the only factor, he said.
The initial Ohio Highway Patrol report indicated that Mayberry crossed the centerline, initiating the accident, and that a significant number of motorists “favor the centerline” because of utility poles and storm drains.
John Zell placed tickets in bags for Chinese auction items at the benefit for the family of Thomas B. Hutchinson Jr., a Masury man killed in a two-vehicle accident July 16 in the 8000 block of Warren Sharon Road, Masury.
At times like this, it’s a little thing that he can do to try to ease the pain of Hutchinson’s family, Zell said, noting he had known Hutchinson since he was a boy.
“He was a very respectful person,” Zell said. “He never caused problems or was mean to anybody, except for on the football field.”
Zell had coached Hutchinson, 26, of 929 Judson Road, in football.
The fundraiser was held July 30 to offset the costs of the funeral and headstone for Hutchinson, who was buried in Hillcrest Cemetery, Hermitage, said his stepmother, Nicol Danus.
“I begged for two weeks from businesses and they showed up for me,” Danus said of those who donated food and auction items. “I’m thankful for that.”
The day before the fundraiser, the other man killed in the crash, the Rev. Rajshun D. Mayberry, 29, of 554 S. Stateline Road, Masury, was laid to rest in Gaffney, S.C., where he was born, according to the website of the Gilmore Mortuary.
Mayberry’s wife, Marie, posted this on Facebook:
“God gave me the privilege to be your wife and soulmate. The impact you had on me and our kids will live on forever. Not only did you invest in their lives here on earth, but you were determined to invest in their eternities. While I will never understand why God took you from us, I will be eternally grateful for the time we had together. “
Rev. Mayberry was pastor of Grace Outreach in Akron.
Stacey Beach, on Facebook, called Mayberry “an amazing person, dad and pastor.”
“Still don’t want to believe it my best my nephew lord help me please understand,” Billie Willis posted on Facebook.
Understanding of the death of these two young men was hard to come by.
“Tommy, he was easily the most caring and loving person I ever knew, I’m so glad I got to know you, this one hurts,” Kimberly McCann said on Facebook.
“I’m so thankful for Tommy and his friendship all throughout grade school,” Nelson Swartz posted on Facebook. “Glad we kept in touch after through fantasy football and our Browns fandom. So many fun and crazy memories come to mind throughout the years. Rest in peace, brother.”
According to Ohio Highway Patrol, Hutchinson was heading home after spending time with family and was westbound heading down the West Hill. Mayberry also was heading home, having stopped off at a friend’s house after work at a Cortland pizza shop, police said. He was eastbound.
Mayberry’s SUV crossed the centerline on the narrow stretch of road, and Hutchinson’s car swerved to try to avoid the SUV, but the vehicles crashed head-on, police said. Hutchinson’s car rolled onto its side, while Mayberry’s SUV rolled onto its roof and caught fire, police said.
Mayberry was pronounced dead at the scene, while Hutchinson was pronounced dead at a local hospital, police said.
The patrol noted that the area where the crash occurred has “an aggressive incline for eastbound traffic and an aggressive decline for westbound traffic.” Because of the way the land rises away from the road on both sides, drivers have “limited ability” to drive off the road in the event of a “hazardous situation,” police said. Utility poles close to the road and storm drains in the road tend to cause drivers in both directions to “favor the center line,” police said.
Sabrina Klink-Shortreed has established a page on gofundme.com to raise money for the Hutchinson family.